In Protest Over the Japanese Ministry of Justice and Immigration Service’s Unjust Restrictions on Members of Scholarly and Media Communities Attempting to Enter Japan and to Protect Freedom of Speech and Expression
June 30, 2008
Network of Lawyers Observing Human Rights Around the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit (WATCH)
Eleven well-known international scholars scheduled to be panelists at the Counter-G8 International Forum being held in Tokyo from June 30 until July 1 have been detained at the airport and subjected to long hours of questioning. Several of these scholars were refused entry because their plans for the days between meetings were not clear.
Later they were given special permission for entry with their planned time limit significantly shortened.
Meanwhile, many international journalists and media workers coming to Japan to cover events related to the G8 Summit continue to be held and questioned in a similar manner and for no particular reason at various airports.
These measures constitute the unjust immigration detention of scholars and media workers. This is not only an infringement on the expression of various opinions, feelings, and perspectives on the G8, it also has a profoundly chilling effect on investigative research and reporting.
Our network urges the Ministry of Justice and Immigration Services Bureaus of Administration to halt these unjust immigration screenings immediately and resume the usual screening practices in order to protect freedom of expression and intellectual freedom during the G8 Summit.